Sports & Fitness

The Benefits of Exercise for Pregnant Women

May 13, 2023 ByClaire Miles

Here is the importance of exercising during pregnancy. It is a great way to have a healthy and more comfortable pregnancy. Maintaining regular exercise practice during pregnancy not only improves posture but also decreases joint discomfort and fatigue.

When pregnant, exercise helps minimize fatigue, lower blood pressure, keep weight gain regular, and improve maternal moods. Pregnant women also have less risk of gestational diabetes, premature labor, preeclampsia (high blood pressure), placenta previa (placental implantation at the cervical opening), and recurrent miscarriage. Physical activity helps the mother-to-be bond with her baby, making them both happier. In addition, physical activity reduces postpartum depression symptoms. Women who take care of themselves before they give birth recover faster and have fewer depressive episodes. Women who exercise regularly before they become pregnant benefit their children’s neurological development, including memory, attention span, and IQ. Regular exercise before and during pregnancy may decrease the risk of stillbirth, premature births, and low birthweight babies.

Exercise increases the amount of oxygen circulating in the body, helping supply energy to the fetus. Prenatal exercises help develop fetal brains to create good connections between neurons. Studies show that prenatal exercise improves infant motor skills, language abilities, and eye movement.

During labor, exercise relaxes muscles and makes childbirth easier. Contractions last longer than usual when exercising during delivery, so women have time to push harder without pain. Also, exercising during labor reduces the need for medication to speed up labor. Women who exercise regularly during pregnancy have a 33% decreased chance of dying during their child’s first year. Researchers believe this is due to how exercise changes the heart rate and circulation patterns, which helps deliver oxygen to the fetus.

If a woman takes part in regular aerobic exercise throughout her pregnancy, she could reduce her chances of developing breast cancer. A perfect activity for pregnant women is walking, offering moderate aerobic conditioning with minimal joint stress. Other exercise includes swimming, low-impact aerobics, and cycling on a stationary bike.